Flashback leads Baffert trio in Santa Anita Derby
Preview: USA, Saturday 12pm BST
Santa Anita: Santa Anita Derby (Grade 1) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo
LEADING Kentucky Derby hope Flashback (Bob Baffert/ Garrett Gomez) breaks from the rail in the Santa Anita Derby, where Hear The Ghost is a non-runner and out of the Triple Crown through injury.
A 16-1 chance for Churchill Downs with British bookmakers, Flashback heads a powerful trio representing trainer Bob Baffert, who also saddles Power Broker (Rafael Bejarano) and Super Ninety Nine (Martin Garcia) as he bids to add to his record six victories in the West Coast's principal Derby trial.
Having been a runaway winner in the Robert B Lewis Stakes in February, Flashback got caught up in an enervating pace duel with Goldencents in the San Felipe, leaving himself open to the late rally of the stalker Hear The Ghost, who has an undisclosed setback.
This $750,000 event was won 12 months ago by subsequent Kentucky hero I'll Have Another, whose trainer is represented this time by Goldencents (Doug O'Neill/Kevin Krigger). He faded to fourth in the San Felipe and will need to be ridden more conservatively here.
Gary Stevens, who has won a record nine Santa Anita Derbys, partners outsider Storm Fighter (Bruce Headley).
Ladbrokes: 5-4 Flashback, 4 Power Broker, 6 Tiz A Minister, Goldencents, 7 Super Ninety Nine, 20 Summer Exclusive, 25 Storm Fighter, 50 Dirty Swagg
Also on Saturday
Santa Anita: Santa Anita Oaks (Grade 1) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo fillies (10pm BST)
Beholder (Richard Mandella/Garrett Gomez), wire-to-wire winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at this venue, breaks from the outside of six in this $300,000 contest after slamming Saturday's rival Fiftyshadesofhay (Bob Baffert/Rafael Bejarano) last time out.